Arboretum, Bingo Night, Common Grounds Coffeehouse...

I've been at UWGB for about two years now, and I know that this school has plenty to offer. I have had many great experiences during my time here so far, and I'm lucky enough to say that I've become acquainted with the various aspects that come with being a student at this school. Though I could think of multiple things for some letters, here are the ABCs of UWGB that I came up with:

A - Arboretum

One of my favorite things about UWGB's campus is how it's surrounded by nature. The Cofrin Memorial Arboretum offers various trails, bridges, hills, and views of the bay, making it one of my favorite places to be on campus.

B - Bingo Night

UWGB students absolutely love bingo night. This typically happens about once a month, and large crowds show up every single time. And why not? Free food is served and there are plenty of prizes that are up for grabs.

C - Common Grounds Coffeehouse

One of my favorite spots on campus, I love getting drinks from the coffeehouse. Whether it's an iced coffee, a campus chiller (which literally tastes like a liquid Oreo), or one of the monthly specials, it's always a treat getting something from here. It also makes a great place to study or catch up with friends.

D - D2L

Look familiar? Every UWGB student knows D2L extremely well. Whether you use this site to look over lecture presentations, take online quizzes or exams, or to check the syllabus, students are constantly logging into this site.

E - Employment Opportunities

UWGB offers plenty of different employment opportunities on campus, which is something that I think us students take for granted sometimes. According to their website, "UW-Green Bay has over 1,500 on campus student jobs each school year, with an average of 1,000 students hired to fill these open positions. "

F - Finding the Haunted Chapel

Locating the "haunted" chapel in the arboretum is a must before graduation. It's a bit tricky to find at first if you don't know the way, but you will get a hang of it eventually! If you're feeling particularly adventurous, I recommend heading here at night - with a few friends of course.

G - Green Bay

Obviously, UWGB is located in Green Bay, which happens to be the third-largest city in Wisconsin - and is home to the Green Bay Packers. Though the campus is located quite a ways from the downtown area, it's always fun to discover the surrounding restaurants, parks, and shops!

H - Housing On Campus

I honestly think that UWGB offers great housing options. After touring other colleges in the state, I was struck by how spacious and nice the dorm rooms - even for the freshmen - were here. After living on campus for two years now, I can definitely say that I'm content with the quality of the housing.

I - Intramurals

Something that a lot of UWGB students enjoy participating in our the intramurals that are offered throughout the school year. Various sports are offered in blocks, and there's something for everyone who is looking to have some fun with sports.

J - Just A Beautiful Campus

It's undeniable that UWGB has a beautiful campus. Unlike other colleges, UWGB isn't crammed in the middle of a city or surrounded by dive bars and cheap houses - we're surrounded by natural beauty instead. I believe that this campus is especially gorgeous during the fall when all the trees are changing colors.

K - Kress Events Center

If you're a fitness junkie, student-athlete, or enjoy a casual workout, the Kress is probably a frequent destination for you. Another one of my favorite places on campus, the Kress has a top-notch cardio deck, great indoor track, climbing tower, basketball court, turf gym, swimming pool, recreation spaces, and much more.

L - Long Walk to Wood Hall

That moment when you realize that one or more of your classes is located in Wood Hall... especially if you have a class right before it in MAC or basically anywhere else. Wood Hall, along with Rose Hall, feels so disconnected from the rest of the academic buildings, and you always know that you are in for some exercise when you head over there.


MAC, otherwise known as Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, is one of my favorite buildings to attend class in. The classrooms have an open layout, and you don't have to worry about leaving too far in advance for class since this is one of the first buildings you encounter coming from student housing.

N - Nice Study Spots

UWGB offers a plethora of great study spots all over campus. Some of my favorites include anywhere in the Cofrin Library, the Wintergarden in MAC, the second floor of Rose Hall, and the seating area by the Garden Cafe.

O - Orgs

There are many different ways to get involved on campus! I can guarantee you that at least one of the student orgs at UWGB offer something for everyone. According to their website, "UW-Green Bay boasts more than 100 student groups, clubs, and organizations in which you can get involved with other like-minded students." Org Smorg, an event held in order for students to navigate the various organizations, is held once per semester.

P - Phoenix

Our mascot here at UWGB is the phoenix, a mystical creature known for rising from the ashes. I personally like our mascot and think it represents our school nicely.

Q - Quality Education

I honestly believe that every academic program here at UWGB offers something special. I have encountered some amazing professors in my time here so far who are incredibly knowledgeable, passionate about teaching, and genuinely care about their students.

R - Residence Life

Though UWGB boasts a large population of commuter students, Residence Life still has a strong presence on campus. As mentioned earlier on this list, housing is quite good quality for college and there are various options available to students. Also, Res Life allows puts up interesting programs and events throughout the school year, such as Res Fest at the end of the school year.


Like D2L, SIS is another school website that every UWGB has been on at least a few times. This website becomes especially prevalent when the new schedule of classes is made available as well as when it's time to enroll in classes.

T - Tunnels

One of the biggest perks of attending UWGB is the fact that all of the academic buildings are connected through a concourse system. I couldn't imagine bearing the long, harsh winters while trying to get from class to class.

U - University Union

This building is arguably the heart of campus. This is where the majority of dining options are found and a lot of the events on campus are typically held somewhere in this building.

V - Views of the Bay

UWGB is in extreme proximity to the Bay of Green Bay, which is the perfect place to watch the sunset on the water. You can either walk here via the trails or drive over.

W - Weidner Center

Our campus also is the home to the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, a beautiful structure that hosts an abundance of varying events, including events put on through the school.

X - Xtra Opportunites

UWGB offers plenty of great opportunities for their students. This includes: great study abroad programs that are offered during the school year, winter break, and summer break, internships on-campus as well as resources to get internships off-campus, career services that help you plan and prepare for your future career, and many other great resources that are at the disposal of students.

Y - Your Own Bathroom

College students always complain about the communal bathroom situation that they are forced to face. However, UWGB is unique in the fact that they offer private bathrooms! Every dorm or apartment option - including the freshman dorms - have their own bathroom. The most people I've ever had to share a bathroom with so far is two.

Z - Zillions of Reasons To Go Here

There are honestly a bunch of great reasons why anyone should decide to attend UWGB. I instantly connected with this school when I first toured here, and after two years, I don't regret my decision in attending college here.

Though it's hard to compress UWGB in just the 26 letters of the alphabet, I feel like this is a pretty comprehensive list that captures what UWGB is about and how it's like to attend school year. As this school year winds down, I'm looking forward to coming back in the fall to continue making memories at this great school.

Cover Image Credit: UWGB

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An Open Letter To The Meadville Medical Center And Its ER Staff

When did kindness become a deserved thing in the healthcare field; and only if you're not on drugs?

Yes, that cover picture is me, coming off a Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh, a two-hour drive from my house, not at Meadville Medical Center.

This is very difficult to write. We live in a small town, and you are the only hospital for over twenty miles. In fact, I live so close to you, that I can see your rooftop from my back garden. I can walk to you in about ten minutes if it’s not overly humid out. The Life Flights pass over my house as they arrive at and leave your facility, and my young daughter and I pray for every one of them.

My daughter had to call an ambulance on May 30th, as I had a sharp and horrible pain overtake me so suddenly, that I thought my neighbor (who I threatened to report for dealing drugs) had shot me through the dining room window at first. There was no blood to be seen, but the pain was so severe, that combined with the cold sweats and dizziness, I was genuinely afraid I was about to die.

I can’t express in words how proud I was of my girl as she explained to the 911 operator what was the matter and where we lived. She was brave and helpful as they took a blood sample, handled what I later learned was a seizure, and kindly got me into the ambulance from my difficult entryway. She called her Auntie and calmly told her to meet me at the ER. And while memories of the horrible experience I had in your ER twenty years ago still haunted me, the care and attention the ambulance drivers showed me encouraged me that I would be okay.

If only.

There were so many people, and I was half delirious with pain and inexplicable symptoms. Thank God my sister in law, Sheri, was there to help me fight for my life. For the sake of our small town and six degrees of separation, I will call them Nurse A, B, C, and D, and Doctor H. Your staff literally, unapologetically bullied me within an inch of my life.

When I arrived, it was apparently Nurse A who triumphantly announced to everyone involved in my care that I was on drugs, case closed. Despite Sheri and I repeatedly telling them that I hadn’t taken any narcotics, and I won’t take anything stronger than Motrin 800, they persisted in asking what I took. At one point I heard Sheri saying, “She does everything naturally, you're wasting time.” No one cared.

When Nurse A informed me that they needed a urine test, I told her to straight cath me, as I couldn’t stand up. It was Nurse A who told Doctor H that I faked two seizures on the way from my house (I am still amazed by her mystical powers that she could surmise this), and insisted again that I was faking everything. With utter disgust Doctor H said, “She can stand, get her up.” At Sheri’s protest, Nurse A reiterated, “If she can move her legs she can stand.” My legs, which were almost involuntarily moving to find relief from the pain in my abdomen, gave out on me when she insisted I put myself on the bedside commode. I passed out again and urinated on her.

When I woke up to Sheri frantically calling my name, I was greeted by an absolutely disgusted Nurse A, who complained that she needed to go change her clothes, and rolled her eyes at my faking another seizure. She informed everyone who came in next that I was faking these symptoms, and four attempts to straight cath me failed. In that moment, I was sure I was going to die.

Everything after that came in blurry and fragmented vignettes, like an awful out of body experience. There were Nurses B through D or more, all repeatedly asking me what drugs I took. Everyone scowled and frowned, passing on the information that I was faking everything. There were four of these nurses when I woke up on the way to a scan, and all but one asking me what drugs I took, and telling me to stop faking as I hysterically screamed that I could not breathe when I lay flat. I was terrified, confused, out of my mind, and unable to breathe when I lay flat, and they reported that “she hyperventilated herself” in the scan lab.

All the while, Sheri valiantly insisted they would find no drugs in the blood work, and that I probably hadn’t been to a family doctor in years. I lay in your ER cubicle and reconciled myself to God, convinced that I was going to die and be labeled a drug addict.

At some point, something shifted, and suddenly I received the blanket I had asked for hours before. Apparently, my temperature had dropped so low, their fancy thermometers couldn’t read anything. I remember a young man trying to find a vein and saying, “Oh my God, I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m not trying again.” My head was elevated, and the panic of not being able to breathe alleviated somewhat.

Suddenly Doctor H was almost kind, and I heard him telling Sheri something about “a mass” and “blood in her abdomen” and how some other hospital was better equipped to help me. She told me she okay-ed it, and I recall telling her, “I trust you. Just get me out of here.”

In fact, knowing someone else would care for me gave me such peace, that I literally lay completely still as an older man inserted an IV line into my neck with no anesthesia.

We assume the blood work came back and the scan verified what we desperately tried to tell everyone from the beginning; I wasn’t on or seeking drugs. But there was no apology from Nurse A, her fellow nurses, or Doctor H. I may be corrected, but I spent five or six hours in your ER defending myself to the same people who should have been fighting for my life.

As I lay there, talking to Yeshuale, three people in what looked like tactical suits came alongside my bed. The first was a woman who looked like she was speaking into a walkie talkie. Behind her two men. I thought to myself “Oh, state cops. I guess I’m just going to die in prison.” I was so out of it, confused and weary of being asked what drugs I took, I believed your ER staff had called the police and they had come to take me away. All I could think of was what would become of my young daughter.

Thank God, I was mistaken. The blonde woman wasn’t a police officer, but part of the helicopter team, on the phone with Magee in Pittsburgh so she could begin administering blood to me. Blood. Something your staff considered less important than accusing me of using and seeking some weird drugs. Behind her, a tall, blonde man smiled at me and explained that he was taking me in a helicopter and I would be fine. It was like hearing from an angel, and I remember saying, “Todah, Yeshuale!” repeatedly in my head and in a whisper. “Thank You, Jesus!”

Four blocks away, my daughter and the friend she was staying with waved as we flew over my house.

To my surprise, I woke up two days later, attached to a ventilator, one of my sister friends sitting beside my bed. I learned that I’d had two masses in my uterus, which tore itself open and bled into my abdomen. I’d lost four liters of blood and had a transfusion in the Life Flight. When they took the vent out, (my friend took the picture above) I made a joke about being a tough Jersey girl as I signed to the ICU nurse, but inside I was an emotional wreck. Still, as the days went on, I determined to treat everyone with kindness, and was treated the same way at every turn.

Kindness. The one thing I never received from your staff.

What was so special about me that your staff felt interrogating me about my apparent drug use was more important than helping me? My address? Because for some reason all the drug dealers in town seem to want to take over my block? So, we’re all on drugs, then? Do you realize that half my neighbors brag about going to your ER to get pain pills, and how easy it is? I never asked for anything but a Tylenol, and that was on the Life Flight. So, again I ask, what made me so unique?

And, I must say, it’s not even that your staff didn’t believe me. They were mean, hateful even. Rolling their eyes, talking about me like I wasn’t there, saying everything I did was a ruse to get drugs. When did it become okay to treat anyone like that? How was it alright for your nurse to walk in and determine that I was on drugs? How was it alright for her to set the tone of disbelief, unkindness, and abuse? How was it alright for the doctor to allow this and roll with it?

Yes, I said abuse. When someone is screaming that they can’t breathe and you tell them to stop faking, that is abuse. When you berate someone, and accuse them of something to the point where they believe they’re being taken to jail to die, that’s abuse. When you refuse to give someone a blanket, hold them down to the point where they’re bruised, that’s abuse. When you waste time to the point where an ambulance won’t get to the next hospital fast enough… that’s abuse. Your staff verbally, emotionally, and physically abused me.

Not only were they abusive, but they were comfortable with it. Your staff was comfortable with it, and didn’t care what it would cost me or my family. All but one nurse, who Sheri now tells me insisted that there was something wrong with me and took me for the scan. That nurse saved my life. People are comfortable with abuse because they get away with it. Abusers get smug, arrogant and even careless, because those they abuse say nothing. Your staff was smug, rude and uncaring to the point that they displayed a sick sort of disgust for me that was completely obvious. My sister in law later confirmed to me that it wasn’t all in my head.

At what point did this behavior become acceptable? Is it because you’re the only hospital for a 30-minute drive?

And, so what if I had been seeking drugs or high on some unknown concoction? Would that have made it okay for your staff to treat me thusly? Would Nurse A have been justified in declaring my altered state and treating me like garbage? Would Doctor H have been justified in how he treated me? When did nursing and healing give anyone that sort of power? When did people cease to be worthy of kindness, quality health care and gentleness based upon their drug use, or the address they live at?

When did you decide who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and who does not? When did your medical staff earn that right to decide also?

If we’re completely honest, most of the people I know who abuse pills go to your ER at least once bimonthly to get refills. Your ER physicians pass out opioid scripts like candy and then mistreat the people they’re supplying? Thanks to you, I must hide the pain medication I loathe to take now, because someone will surely break in to my home and steal them if they know I have them. You, and other hospitals like you, are feeding addicts and creating innocent bystander victims like me, but that’s another conversation.

This is difficult to write, because you have your hooks in all over this town. This is difficult to write, because the trauma of that night is still fresh in my mind, and I often cry when I think about it. This is difficult to write, because the reality that I have had to now teach my child to ask any ambulance we ever need to call again to take us to Erie shouldn’t be necessary. This is difficult to write, but it needs to be said, especially since I’ve been finding out that I’m not the only person this has happened to.

You need to address these issues. You need to stop handing out scripts like promotional coupons, and perhaps you won’t have nurses and doctors assuming everyone’s on drugs or seeking them. You need to discourage the abusive and toxic behavior of your staff, and hold them accountable when patients complain. Let me put this into perspective for you: I’m pretty sure Nurse A is the same age as my oldest daughter, and my child would eat mud before she treated anyone like that. Why? Because my kids were never allowed to behave that way in the first place, but to stay on topic, she grew up with consequences, and as an adult still recognizes their severity.

As the events of that night become clearer to me, and I continue my peaceful, miraculous recovery at home, I am determined not to hold on to bitterness about what happened to me at your ER. I am determined to make the most of the second chance at life I’ve been given, and leave your abusive staff in the past. I’ll probably pass some of them in the super market, or sit behind them in church, our town is so small. And while you and your toxic staff will cease to haunt my future, I will surely haunt yours. Nurse A, Doctor H, and Nurses B through whatever… will never forget the night the woman with the blue hair nearly died because they were too busy wrongly judging to actually care.

I am determined to walk out the rest of my life in kindness, the very discussion I had in a blackout with God while your nurse accused me of faking a seizure. I will pray, hoping with all hope that kindness will once again be requisite for employment in your ER and every area of your corporation. Believe me, it’s possible and good for profits. The entire time I spent in Pittsburgh at Magee I never encountered a single unkind staff member from the surgeons to the housekeepers.

I know you can do it.

Cover Image Credit: Heidi Owens

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Teaching Is An Amazing Career, It's More Powerful Than We Give It Credit For

Teaching is a career that is heavily overlooked — it is much more powerful than people realize.


When it comes to teaching, it's not always easy or fun. But, let me ask you this: what career really is easy or fun all the time? Being challenged can beneficial. Otherwise, you are just going through the same routine over and over. Teaching will definitely keep you on your toes because there's always something happening.

People seem to think teachers just lecture on information that they hope their students remember for the test. You know what? Those people are dead wrong. Teaching is more than that. Teaching means having the passion and drive to educate children. Teaching is turning something dull to something that students will find more interesting and enjoyable.

Teaching is also about providing tools and other resources for students in order for them to succeed, especially the ones who tend to struggle in school. Being able to give those tools to help them accomplish their goals is extremely rewarding. A teacher will work with a student who is behind on his/her reading skills to have him/her be right at the level he/she needs to be by the end of the school year. Not many jobs provide a reward quite like guiding a student, if not more, to success.

Although it focuses on academics, teaching is not just about that. Sure, being an effective teacher is key, but there are other aspects that are just as significant. As a teacher, you also have to connect with your students. Knowing your students on a personal level is so important. The connection can build respect that will, in turn, help them to succeed. Plus, students spend more time with you on a day-to-day basis than they do with their parents — isn't that frightening? So, you have to be able to support them and let them know them that you are there for them if they are having trouble.

Additionally, that connection you build with your students can last a lifetime. You can witness the growth of a student right in front of you. In fact, I am still very close with some of my teachers from elementary school. Many of them inspired me to become a teacher. Because of those great bonds I built, I had the opportunity to intern with some of my past teachers, which was a rewarding experience for everyone. Being able to develop such a connection with someone so different in age is something that is so powerful and that doesn't come with many other careers.

Teaching is so amazing. There are so many layers and beautiful aspects to it. Again, it can be difficult, but it's also a lot of fun. Not many people can say they have fun and laugh every day at work. I also truly believe that not many other people can say their careers provide as rewarding of a feeling as teaching does. To be able to make such a difference in someone's life is an incredible thing. Teaching is my passion. I know teaching will not be only gratifying but something that will bring me pure joy.

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